Time called Emanuel “The Man Who Saw Katrina Coming.” Just three weeks before Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, Emanuel authored a famous study in the journal Nature on the link between human-induced global warming and increasing hurricane strength. He reported that hurricanes have grown more powerful and destructive over the last three decades due in part to global warming. The study also found that the accumulated power of hurricanes in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico had more than doubled since 1970.
Emanuel’s book, Divine Wind: The History and Science of Hurricanes, chronicles how hurricanes have altered history by thwarting military incursions and changing the course of explorations, and also outlines their influence on music, art and literature. It was named one of the Top 20 Science Books of 2005 by Discover Magazine.
Since last year's devastating hurricane season, few issues have been more contentious than whether human-driven global warming is responsible for the increased intensity and frequency of these storms.
Emanuel, professor of earth, atmospheric and planetary science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, supports the growing evidence of links between human-induced global warming, higher sea temperatures and more intense hurricanes.
The William R. Kenan Lecture Series is made possible by a grant from the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust.
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